Homeowners insurance is a tool to protect you, your loved ones, possessions, and your home. It’s also a tool you hope you’ll never have to use. A standard homeowners insurance will protect against 16 different perils and should you suffer a loss, it may be time for you to submit a claim.
By submitting a claim, you are exercising your right as a client to receive reimbursement after a loss after faithfully paying your policy’s premium. However, if you have never been through the process, or hopefully if you have it has been a while, it can seem like a daunting task. Filing your claim with your insurance provider doesn’t have to be a monumental challenge and luckily, the team at Freedom Insurance Group is here to help you through it.
How Do I File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?
- Step 1: If you have suffered a crime, be sure to notify law enforcement first. File the necessary paperwork and be sure to receive a copy of any available reports.
- Step 2: Notify your insurance provider immediately and file. You’ll want to call your insurance company and speak with your agent about the loss you’ve incurred and ask questions about the specific documents your provider may need.
- Step 3: Document everything. We live in the digital age and you’ll want to take advantage. Be sure to video and photograph, with timestamps, your loss. This will help you prove your losses during the claims process.
- Step 4: When it is safe to do so, mitigate your damage as soon as possible. Homeowners have a responsibility to prevent further losses whenever possible and failure to do so could result in your claim being denied. An example would be suffering hail damage to your roof, yet failing to fix it after the storm. Should another storm pass and cause water damage, your claim may not be covered because you failed to limit the damage after the initial loss.
- Step 5: Fill out any necessary forms as soon as possible. Homeowners who fail to do so may find that they are denied for their claim as policies have time frames for filing. You’ll also want to do so ASAP because the sooner you file your paperwork, the sooner your insurer can reimburse you for your losses.
- Step 6: Be ready to show your home to the insurance adjuster.
- Step 7: Wait for your reimbursement. If you are not satisfied with the assessment by the insurance adjuster, you can hire a public adjuster for a second opinion. If your claim is denied, you may also file an appeal. Otherwise, if you and your insurance provider agree to the amount you are owed, you’ll be paid for your loss in a quick, professional manner.
Helpful Tips for Filing Your Homeowners Insurance Claim
Following our steps for filing your home insurance claim can act as a great guideline, but there are other helpful hints you can do for a smoother claims process. Take a closer look at some of the things you can do as a homeowner to ensure your claim is filed correctly, timely, and your reimbursement arrives to help you rebuild:
- Use an insurance provider you can trust. Different insurance brands have different financial ratings which are assessed by independent institutions. These ratings determine how financially strong a company is and looks at its ability to not only pay a claim but also do so in a timely manner.
- Prepare a home inventory list beforehand to avoid questions about your claim. You’ll want to have a detailed, organized list of your covered possessions and your home. There are many ways to do so, however, videoing and photographing your home online in a secure file, accompanied by a physical copy, can help you in the long run. We suggest avoiding a larger video and breaking things down room by room with more individual photos for smaller items. Keep them organized and prepared in a secure area in the event of a loss.
- Remember, there are no stupid questions. Ask as many questions as possible to best understand your process and the timeline for receiving your payment. Every policy and claim is different. Speak with your insurance agent to best understand the situation you are facing.
- Avoid submitting claims that may not be necessary. As a homeowner, you may receive rate increases after submitting too many claims or can even be dropped as a client by your insurance provider. Smaller claims are often better going unsubmitted to save you from unnecessary rate increases.
- Under documenting your loss is a potential hardship for homeowners filing a claim. You’ll want to be sure that you have significant evidence, time-stamped and saved digitally, to support your claim.
- Loss-of-use is an important component of your home insurance policy when suffering a major loss. While failing to document your loss is a problem, so too is failing to keep and organize receipts for your expenses while you are displaced from your home. Your home insurance provider will allow a certain amount for food and lodging per day when you are displaced. Receive your appropriate reimbursement for these times by retaining an accurate record.
Freedom Insurance Group Helps Texans File and Save
Protection from your home insurance policy is important for any homeowner, but so too is the customer service you’ll receive as a policyholder. The aftermath of a loss is one of the most vulnerable experiences a homeowner can endure. Choosing the right insurance provider that will be there for you in a timely, professional manner can help alleviate financial burdens for your family putting you back on track faster.
At Freedom Insurance Group, we help our clients get back on their feet by being there when it matters most. We work with 25+ top-rated insurance brands to ensure that you are protected by companies capable of paying your claim wholly and quickly after a loss. Our team is there for you to help ensure paperwork is done correctly and professionally. We do the hard work so that you can focus on putting your other affairs in order.
The sad truth about filing a claim with a homeowners insurance company is that often homeowners will also find themselves paying more for their premium when it is time to renew. Not to worry, if you are enrolled with Freedom Insurance Group. We continue to work for you and not a singular brand. If you are facing a rate increase when it is time to renew, we can shop among our top-rated providers to ensure that you receive the lowest possible price for your coverage. Contact us today or feel free to see how much you can save through a free online homeowners insurance quote. The average client that switches to Freedom Insurance Group saves 40% on their home insurance premiums.